Rusty Cloud (Piano)
Anthony “Rusty” Cloud, born on January 22, 1951 in Baltimore, Maryland, was raised in Wilmington, Delaware where at an early age he became interested in music and attended summer jazz workshops at the Wilmington Music School whose faculty included Herbie Hancock, Thad Jones, Pepper Adams and Bobby Timmons.
Although strongly influenced by these Jazz greats, “Rusty’s” desire to perform enlisted him in local Blues and Soul bands where he absorbed the music of such legends as James Brown, Otis Redding, Muddy Waters and many others. After a stint at Shenandoah Conservatory of Music and 2 years of steady gigging in the Washington DC area, he moved to New York City in 1974, shortly thereafter assuming leadership of the Joe Frazier touring revue. Through Joe, he met Ed and Alvin Pazant, former sidemen of Lionel Hampton, who were co-leaders of the Melba Moore Band. While he worked with them for three years, “Rusty” also performed at the world- famous Cotton Club with artists such as of Cab Calloway, Billy Eckstein and Bettye LaVette. Some of “Rusty’s” touring and recording credits are Gary U.S. Bonds, Little Steven Van Zandt, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, the E Street Band, The Young Presidents and now the Original Blues Brothers Band. His touring career has included participation in major jazz and blues festivals in every country in Europe, as well as Russia, Japan, Australia, India and North Africa. While continuing to tour and record for major artists, “Rusty” also writes, arranges and composes for television and film, and is active as a producer/arranger for various recording artists, including two CD’s by indie rock/world-music artist Jonathan Hirsch and the up-and-coming rock band Srotakin IV.
With his wife, singer/songwriter/vocal teacher Claire Cloud, he formed Cloudburst Productions in 1997, and since then Rusty and Claire have performed as a duo for numerous events and concerts and have released five CD’s, including two solo efforts by Rusty, their duet collection “Every Little Dream” and two by the band S’Killit under Rusty’s leadership. For the past year, Rusty has been involved with Blues4People, a joint American/Italian World Music project under the leadership of “Blue Lou” Marini. He and Claire have been teaching at The Lagond Music School since 2004. Rusty is also active as a producer/arranger for various recording artists, including two CD’s by Indie rock/world-music artist Jonathan Hirsch and the up-and-coming rock band Srotakin IV.